Finding a good activity that will keep your children continually interested in outside can be a tough endeavor. Gardening is a great way to engage your children in the great outdoors while also providing them with an educational activity and creative outlet. I don’t know about you, but I think gardening may be one of the best activities out there for kids. However, you want to be careful that your children will have a positive experience and that their plants will flourish and not end up as a withered pile of leaves. Below, I will go over some of the best plants to use in your children’s garden and why they are good choices.
Sunflowers are what I think should be a staple in every child’s first garden. Not only do they work well in a variety of climates, but they are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space. Planting a few sunflowers in a collection of pots is the perfect way to go if you don’t have a lot of room in your yard for a full garden but your child wants to grow some plants. Once you plant a sunflower seed, buds will begin to show up in about a week and they can get as big as two feet tall in just a month with proper care.
Radishes are another plant you should try out in your child’s garden. Although your children may not love the taste of them after they are finished growing, they grow extremely quickly. Most radish plants germinate in under a week and reach their full growing potential in under a month. If you want a mild tasting radish, plant your seeds during a cooler season. For a hotter radish, plant your seeds during the summer when it’s warmer outside.
Lettuce is one of the most reliable crops you can plant. Not only do lettuce seeds grow quickly, but they may inspire your children to get into eating healthy salads. When you plant lettuce in your garden, keep it in an area that is shady for part of the day. The soil you plant your seeds in will also need to be kept moist for the first two weeks after planting.
4. Cherry Tomatoes
I find that there is nothing like a ripe cherry tomato plucked and eaten straight out of a garden. This may be a good choice for your child’s garden because it is fun to see the tomatoes turn from green to red. These will need to be planted in an area that receives full sunlight and stakes will need to be installed in the ground to ensure the plant grows upwards. While cherry tomatoes take a little longer to grow, anywhere from fifty to seventy five days, the results are well worth the wait.
5. Snow Peas
Snow peas are a top choice for children’s gardens because they can be picked and eaten straight off the vine. Once you plant a crop of snow peas in your garden, it will take them about ten days to germinate and two months to fully grow. If you live in a location that experiences mild temperatures, snow peas will thrive if you plant them in your garden. Keep them in an area that stays partially shaded during the day for best results.
6. Bush Beans
Bush beans are great for any garden because they don’t grow very large and yield quick results. This plant is easy to harvest, making it a favorite among young gardeners. This plant also germinates in about a week and takes anywhere from forty to sixty five days to reach full maturity. When you plant them, put a few seeds into the ground in a small patch and then go back in a few days and plant another area. Doing this extends the amount of beans you will be able to gather.
A classic option, potatoes are great for young gardeners because it is difficult to prevent this crop from growing successfully. If you are deciding between red or white potatoes, keep in mind that red ones are done faster than white ones. When you plant them, put each seed about twelve to fifteen inches apart so that the intense roots potato plants are known for don’t get tangled underneath the ground. As your potato plants start to grow, add soil to the top of them so they have enough room to develop.
If you have room for a pumpkin in your garden, definitely plant one or two. Your child will love seeing how big their pumpkin gets, and if you plant in time, they can be carved for Halloween. When you go to plant a pumpkin seed, dig a small hole and then create a mound of dirt on top of the seed. Your pumpkin seeds will start sprouting within a week and you will see small vines beginning to form on the ground shortly after. Your pumpkins will be ready to harvest between 80 to 120 days after they are planted.
If you want to add a little variety into your child’s garden, give nasturtiums a try. These beautiful flowers bloom quickly and come in many different colors. Not only are these flowers lovely to look at, but their blooms can be eaten and taste great mixed into a salad.
Even if you have a picky eater, your child may gobble up the carrots they harvest from their garden. This plant grows best during cooler times of the year. You can plant them directly into the soil, but make sure there are no rocks so that the carrots are free to grow downwards.
Other plants to try
If you are like me, keeping plants alive and flourishing may not be your forte. However, when you implement these plants into your garden, you will almost be guaranteed success. If you want to branch out and help your child plant something more difficult, try some zucchini, strawberries, watermelon, or corn. These plants are fun to grow and yield delicious results, but may not be as reliable as the other options I listed above.
Buying already potted plants is a great way to start your children’s gardening experience. Ordering online from TheGrowersExchange is a fantastic way to purchase great plants and accessories and have them delivered to your doorstep.